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Egypt: Muslim mob torches Christian homes

Thu 26 May 2016
By Antony Bushfield

Seven Christian homes have been destroyed in Egypt after rumours that a Christian man was having an affair with a Muslim woman.

A mob set fire to the houses after stripping the mother of the Christian man and leaving her naked in the village.

The man accused of adultery fled the village, which is just south of the capital Cairo.

The local Coptic Church said police took two hours to arrive at the scene and had ignored warnings about an attack the day before.

Egypt

- Population 90 million

- 10% are Christians

- President el-Sissi promised to protect minorities

- Christians regularly face persecution

Cleric Anba Makarios is quoted by AP as saying: "No one did anything and the police took no pre-emptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks."

The mob of Muslims had "ample time" to destroy the Christian homes, he said, adding that Christians will be made to apologise and accept "humiliating" conditions.

General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, Bishop Angaelos, told Premier's News Hour the police response time was "utterly unacceptable".

"The problem is when security services are warned and are called to help and stand idly by when people are treated like this.

"People are going to feel like they are going to need to take things into their own hands."

Christians in Egypt regularly come under attack. Earlier this month a campaigner defending the rights of Coptic Christians was arrested.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide said plainclothes police officers arrested Mina Thabet, from the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), in the middle of the night.

Mina Thabet is the Minority Rights Program Director for ECRF and was charged with belonging to a terrorist group, inciting violence and public assembly, spreading fabricated information for terrorist purposes, inciting attacks on police stations, and possession of leaflets undermining national security and the ruling regime.

He remains in detention.

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speaking to Bishop Angaelos:


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